A company slammed Disney and Pixar with a lawsuit for using the likeness of Evel Knievel in the hit animated movie “Toy Story 4” from 2019. Particularly, K&K Promotions said that the character Duke Caboom resembles renown stunt performer Knievel, which Pixar allegedly used without their permission.
Likeness Between the Two
The company K&K filed the lawsuit in the US District Court in Las Vegas. Moreover, the company claims the rights to the likeness and persona of the real-life stuntman. They sued not only the studios but different subsidiaries also. K&K believes that Disney did not get permission from them to use Knievel’s likeness. Now, they are asking for big-time damages, according to reports.
According to the filing obtained by TMZ, the company claims that the film portrayed Duke Caboom in an unmistakable resemblance to Knievel. Even toys based on the famous stuntman hit stores in the ’70s.
The lawsuit even pointed out that even critics spotted the striking similarities. Disney eventually sold “Duke Caboom” toys, which K&K accuses as a ripoff of the classic Knievel toy.
Duke Caboom and Evel Knievel
The fourth installment of the wildly popular franchise from Pixar introduced a new ‘toy’ character called Duke Caboom. Keanu Reeves lent his voice to the “Canada’s greatest stuntman,” sporting a white jumpsuit with a matching cape. Caboom rides a motorcycle, like Knievel.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 23, 2020
Meanwhile, Knievel, an American performer, did motorcycle stunts in real-life. Moreover, kids bought toys inspired by Knievel. Many know him for his death-defying stunts, like jumping over fountains or several buses.
K&K vs Disney and Pixar
K&K spokesperson and Knievel’s son, Kelly Knievel, said: “Evel Knievel did not thrill millions around the world, break his bones, and spill his blood just so Disney could make a bunch of money.”
Toy Story 4, which premiered in the Summer of 2019, went on to gross over a billion dollars worldwide. And it continues to cash in with licensing of its characters in products. Particularly, it includes “Duke Caboom.”
Moreover, the company accuses the House of Mouse that it told cast members of the film to shy away from mentioning trademarked brands like Knievel. This also included avoiding the word Spork, from what the character voiced by Tony Hale is made from.